Grand Haven Visitors Guide

Publication Design and Editorial Direction

A user-friendly reorganization of information and a vibrant design can inject new life into a brand.

Grand Haven is a featured Lake Michigan beachtown. And you don't get that type of designation for being humdrum, bland or forgettable. In fact, the area is Midwest Americana at its best. Boardwalks, lighthouses, surf & sail and perfect beaches. A vacationer's paradise. Yet, the Grand Haven Area CVB felt its annual print visitors guide didn't act as the showpiece it should -- it lacked creativity, good design and it just didn't inspire people to visit.

Since Octane Design had already helped the CVB successfully redesign and launch its new website in 2014, it wasn't a surprise when they turned to us in 2016 to re-envision their print visitors guide into something beyond pages full of laundry lists of members and services.

Our first step was to align the guide with the look and feel of the website since the two should be consistent and feel like a family. We picked up the color palette and fonts. We broke out each section by dedicating a full opening page to a large image with intro text.

And while the old guide relied on charts and uninspiring lists -- which seemed to complicate things for the reader -- we worked to simplify the presentation as much as possible with easy to read listings, subheads and helpful icons.

We also reorganized content and created new sections and editorial-style sidebars that would help familiarize and orientate potential visitors with the Grand Haven area, including its beaches, towns, must-sees and transportation options. We tied in social media using small snapshots (pulled from social media platforms such as Grand Haven's Instagram page) to better connect readers and potential visitors to the beauty and destination profile of the Grand Haven area.

We also made a widespread and conscious effort to insert vibrant destination imagery as well as photos of area-specific novelties, to familiarize potential visitors with why the Grand Haven area -- America's Happiest Seaside Town, according to Coastal Living (2017) -- should be top of mind as a premier vacation destination.

View the online edition of The Grand Haven Visitors Guide.

If you're in need of editorial direction, content creation or custom publishing, contact us and we'll help you hit the ground running.

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